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Watching TV is a popular leisure-time activity. In fact, the average American spends five hours a day in front of the tube. That doesn’t mean all that time should be spent doing nothing. For people with Type 2 diabetes, sitting in front of the TV is an opportunity to build muscle, raise the heart rate and stretch the body. Even a small amount of activity can be beneficial. Research shows that physical activity can:
According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, all of these effects can also reduce the odds of diabetes complications in your kidneys, eyes and nerves and slash the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
The next time you’re watching TV, try one of these strategies to keep you moving.
That idle treadmill or stationary bike can be moved in front of the television, allowing you to do double-duty with your eyes and body. Even more portable are small weights and resistance bands.
A typical 30-minute TV show includes about eight minutes of commercial time. Use it to move about the house, dust the room you’re in or put laundry away. Even small movements add up.
Track how many sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, lunges or squats you can do during a show or commercial break. Try to boost these tallies – even if by just a few – each time you’re watching TV.
Wearing a pedometer, you’ll get instant gratification from learning just how many steps you can log by marching your legs up and down in front of the tube.
It doesn’t take a trip to the gym to get moving when you flip on one of the many free cable channels showing daily exercise programs. A bonus? When you’re done working out, you’re already home!
Remember to check with your physician before starting a new exercise program.